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Verizon's Share Everything plans: Bad news for individuals?

Verizon is overhauling its voice and data plans. That could be good for families and bad for some individuals. 

By Matthew Shaer / June 12, 2012

Verizon is overhauling its data and voice plans. Here, the HTC Rhyme, which runs on Verizon Wireless.

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Verizon is throwing its old voice and data plans out the window, replacing them with a scheme that allows users to share data across a range of devices. Dubbed "Share Everything," the new plans, which go into effect on June 28, include unlimited text and voice for every device on the account. Data caps, meanwhile, will be tiered: $50 for 1GB a month, $60 for 2GB, $70 for 4GB, and so on. 

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According to Verizon, consumers can lump up to 10 devices under each account. You'll pay something called "monthly line access" for each additional gadget – every smartphone, for instance, will cost $40 a month, and every tablet will cost $10 a month. (Verizon has a breakdown of the costs here, in PDF form.) To reiterate: Under "Share Everything," you can talk and text as much as you want, but data will cost you. 

For some folks, of course, "Share Everything" will be the perfect solution. Let's say you and your spouse have two 3G-equipped tablets and two smartphones. Before "Share Everything," you'd have to pay for four different data plans. Now, you can pay for just one, which covers all the connected devices on your account. It's less messy, certainly. And good for families. But is "Share Everything" good for all users? 

Well, not necessarily. As Matthew Miller of ZD Net points out, "[t]he new plans give you more options, but this convenience comes at high price for individuals with minimum voice options." For instance, he continues, "individuals who don’t talk much on the phone... will see plan rates jump from the low of $69.99 (450 minutes and 2GB of data) to the lowest smartphone option of $90 for just 1GB of data." 

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